Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Quick As a Cut

An excerpt from ‘Whatever Happened to Jojo’
By Gabrielle Goldsmith
Quick as a cut would bleed the hope - that she had nursed in her heart like a sleeping tiger, that she had felt stir when she checked her appearance and the new turquoise brooch ( a present from ‘B’) – died. Died with the bloody screech of diamonds on glass. She left the nondescript terraced house that housed her bedsit (12 of us stacked on top of each other like empty trays at the bakers) and bundled straight into fog!
Fog, and before 6 am - Georgina pulled her coat close against the twilight of day. She stepped out to confront the galling reality of a community snoring in tension and steadied herself for the twenty minutes walk to the station (20 minutes and then half an hour on that smelly tube).
Her half hour passed reflecting the masks of others’ routine despair (at least I got a seat this morning) but the sun, pushing its way through the murk, feebly greeted her return to the surface in the City.
Georgina banished thoughts of the walls of grey tumbling from the sky. Like a willing lover, she prayed for God to turn the day to her delight. She spoiled herself with an image of ‘B’ (so pretty).
Quick as a cut might heal, she smiled, hope returning.
The Copyright of this post belongs to Gabrielle Goldsmith

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Turret Room 2

He took the first cut, stood on the edge of the stage and sliced the enchanted air with his sword. Three of us flkinched in unison. He cut me a poem from a leprochaun's lime-lined jacket, bent my ear to the zinc-clink of rain in a metal bucket, tuning the day for our delight. Warm blood scrolled from the tip of his blade. Where is my gypsy wife? he cried. The first cut is the unseen one, making the line clear behind it, energised in red. The rain perfumed the air with possibility. A dandelion clock teased time beyond where we thought we'd be. He took the first cut, like charity itself, and none of us knew where the next cut would come from. But for the moment, just then, he was mine.

The copyright of this post belongs to Claire Steele

Turret Room 1

In the spirit of hope, but with little faith, I approach an assessment of my life – that which is past and that which is to come. I gaze down the corridors of time, which stretch relentlessly in both directions. Every sin, in the shadows behind me; ahead, the reparations still to be made; beyond that, the light. Oh, the light. I have done things that may prevent me from reaching that light, but I still recognise myself. I have strayed from the ways the pastor has taught me are right, but I know who I am. I know what I have done, and why. And I can argue.
I am lying on the bed that we shared, on a velvet throw the colour of juniper, with the child on my belly. She twists round and I raise her to a standing position, marching her up and down me so that she beats out the rhythm of my indecision on the xylophone of my ribs. Leave. Stay. Leave. Stay. I drape her with the feather boa her mother left behind, and she giggles.
I should have gone before, but I could not be parted from my little waif. I still can’t. I want to stay until she can fly, until the stem of her life is fully planted, has developed roots, delivered fruit. I will go then.
I will go now. I can do her no good. I cannot undo what I am. Who I am.
I play the voice; I will sing her into adulthood, will send out the streams of wishing into the air that will surround her. I will read weather forecasts and study charts; I will play my voice into the prevailing winds, from east to west, so that it resonates around her in the darkness of the day before. I will pray. I will watch her from afar, this child and the children to come, her brothers and sisters yet unborn whom I will never know. They will be cross about the mystery of me, the silence that surrounds my name. There will be a place ring-fenced for this one in my heart, while I am off at the other side of the world, chaining my dreams to a small place and running, running to feel alive. Or at least, not dead.

Copyright of this post belongs to Jill Glenn